“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail.
There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers”—Stephen Hawking
Well, it is no wonder that when Stephen Hawking positively affirmed God’s non-existence—a claim to know it as a fact—he did not prove it (see VIDEO and ARTICLE: Atheist Stephen Hawking claims to know that God does not exist).
It is even less of an wonder why when Stephen Hawking declared that philosophy is dead it was ubiquitously pointed out that he based that conclusion on philosophy, he philosophizes so as to do his science (and his opinions on many things unrelated to his science) and his statement is philosophically unsustainable.
Well, another philosophic statement of his is the one above with which I agree when stated as is but with which I will dig a little deeper so as to arrive at a deeper truth.
The brain, as the mass of organic matter which it is, can be said to be like a computer—setting aside that it is technologically lightyears beyond our current abilities to build.
When that mass of organic matter “stop working” as in no longer receives oxygen, nutrients, etc. then indeed, “its components fail” and it decays—period.
Now one could argue that there are very many stores which are the equivalent of a heaven or afterlife for broken down computers since they repair them, exchange damaged parts for new ones, etc. Yet, let us go with it as is since all metaphors eventually break down since they are, after all, just that: metaphors. Also, when metaphors are employed people tend to want to argue about the metaphor rather than that which it is means to represent.
Now, a computer in the everyday manner of thinking about it consists of hardware and software.
On this view, the brain is the hardware which “will stop working when its components fail” yet there is also software which is like the mind. Even when the hardware is damaged—even beyond repair—the software may be able to be extracted.
Thus, the “heaven or afterlife” for broken down software is that it can be re-uploaded into another computer.
Now, let us go deeper still:
The brain equals hardware and the hardware equals the body.
The mind equals software and the software equals the soul.
When the body is damaged beyond repair—due to injury, the ware and tare of old age, etc.—the soul is re-uploaded into a new—glorified, resurrected—body: a Body 2.0.
Moreover, a computer’s hardware and its software will not function without a source of energy: from a wall socket or from a battery.
On this view the energy is the spirit which is what animates the body through which the soul expresses itself.
To conclude that the non-existence of the soul can be disproven by the fact that the body ceases to function is tantamount to claiming that the non-existence of the software can be disproven by the fact that the hardware ceases to function.
Thus, I regard the brain as a computer’s hardware which will stop working when its components fail but view the mind as a computer’s software which keeps working when the hardware’s components fail. And so, there is a heaven or afterlife for broken down computer’s software when it is placed within upgraded hardware.
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